MP5039 - Methodologies (Media and Film)

What will I learn on this module?

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to key methods and approaches employed when researching a variety of media and provide you with the practical skills needed to undertake a major independent research project. As such, it critically engages with a number of research methods, outlining their key characteristics and demonstrating how they are most effectively mobilised. Academic experts will provide sessions on a number of methodological approaches, such as analysing media texts, archival research and practice-based creative methods. During the module, you will engage with the key processes involved in designing an academic research project, undertaking the research work and analysis, and presenting the results. In the process, you will be shown how to critically position your work in relation to an intellectual context, construct research questions that are practical and realistic, implement appropriate methodologies, write research proposals and structure longer written projects (such as dissertations or practice-based research).

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. The taught component of the module will consist of 11 two-hour lecture slots accompanied by 11 one-hour seminar slots across the semester. Every lecture will have a corresponding seminar in which the issues raised in the lectures will be explored in greater depth. The lectures will mainly be concerned with introducing the key methodological contentions and issues. The lecture slot is long so as to allow space for the tutor to: a) introduce research study examples; b) demonstrate the ways in which those examples can be understood in relation to methodological practice; and c) delineate areas of contention raised by the examples. The connections between the methodological ideas and the examples will be explored further in the seminars. The module includes a significant time allowance for self-directed study. During this time, you will be expected to engage in seminar preparation (for example, by engaging with relevant scholarship). You will be expected to come to the seminars prepared (i.e. having engaged with the lecture and having conducted independent preparatory reading). The major scholarly texts are available from the campus library and electronic library, thereby ensuring that you can access the literature required for seminar work and assessment preparation. You are encouraged to read extensively beyond the taught components of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module lead; they will introduce the module at the start of the semester and offer advice and guidance throughout. Your learning is mapped out via documentation on Blackboard Ultra, the Northumbria University online electronic learning portal; this is accessible online on and off campus. The e-Learning Portal will include guidance notes and key dates to help you organise and plan your time. It will also include teaching materials, announcements and updates, and detailed information on assessment. You will have a university email that we contact you through.??

?We support your learning by providing on-going feedback (Formative and?Summative) through the range of teaching and learning approaches offered. We ask you to submit your work electronically, and we will supply feedback via Turnitin. You will be able to compare your feedback across modules so that you can assess your development as you progress through the programme.

Formative assessment is offered throughout the module, and summative assignments will receive written feedback within 20 working days of assignment submission.?Every tutor has set weekly feedback and tutorial drop-in hours, wherein you can seek advice on your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

Demonstrate familiarity with key concepts and debates relevant to understanding research across a range of media.

Make connections between devising and developing an independent research project, and the content of your taught programme

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Put into practice the skills required for conducting independent research, including understanding methodology, constructing research questions, critically evaluating different source materials, compiling a literature review, assessing ethical implications, and managing time effectively

Apply these skills and knowledge to the development and planning of an independent research project

Display your ability to develop independent research, apply your critical thinking skills, and highlight the value of these skills in relation to both academic and vocational contexts

How will I be assessed?


To prepare you successfully to undertake the summative assessment(s) on this module, formative assessments will be set by the module team. These may take the form of in-class tasks or projects, developmental activities undertaken between classes, or learning exercises/activities set over a longer period. Feedback (written and/or oral) will be provided to help you learn from, reflect on, and develop in light of these formative assessments.


The summative assessment for this module will be a 3000-word submission of an independent research project proposal. In this, you will develop and refine a research plan that is suitable for a final year dissertation project, taking into account the various methodological considerations covered on the module.

This will include:

- An introduction and summary of the topic

- Your research question(s)

- The central aims of the study and an explanation of key terms and concepts.

- A short Literature Review that situates your research study within its academic field or fields.

- A discussion of your Methodology, and the methods and techniques you intend to use

- An annotated Bibliography of at least 5 key texts you would use as resources.

- An overall Bibliography

You will receive formative feedback from your peers and the module tutor during the seminars throughout the course, allowing you to apprehend how your critical skills are developing. You will receive a detailed commentary and a summative mark on your written work in accordance with the assessment criteria (supplied on the eLP). Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor.





Module abstract

Research methods?are the strategies, processes or?techniques?utilised in the collection of data or evidence for analysis in order to uncover new information or create better understanding of a topic. But what do you need to consider when conceiving, researching and realising an extended piece of academic work? Just how are research projects put together? What might be the approaches open to you and how do you decide which is the ‘best’ for you and your research? Your choice of research method will be dictated by a number of factors and this module will help you to understand some of the key approaches that lead to effective, organised and coherent research.

Course info

UCAS Code P305

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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